Why hotlinking to a RePEc service makes sense

June 27, 2008

Hotlinking is the practice of linking to a web page deep in a web site, instead of its front page. This practice is discouraged by many news sites, both because they prefer users to browse through the site and because links may become obsolete.

At RePEc, we actually encourage hotlinking. Links in RePEc services are designed to stay current (in principle). Also, instead of linking to a PDF file on a researcher’s web page, which may disappear, abstract pages on EconPapers or IDEAS are much more stable. In addition, these abstract pages may provide links to other versions of the paper. This proves particularly useful if the user does not have access to a password protected article from a commercial publisher, or if the user wishes to know whether the paper has been published. Other links on the abstract page can also be valuable, like those to author profiles, references, citations and related works. Finally, authors always appreciate when paper downloads are counted towards their statistics. Indeed, RePEc can only monitor traffic routed through its services.

Therefore, we encourage hotlinks to RePEc services on blogs, online syllabi, personal web pages, online bibliographies, etc.

Where are the women?

June 19, 2008

Women have always been underrepresented in Economics. For example, regarding US faculty, the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP), a subcommittee of the American Economic Association, determines in its latest annual report that women represent 28% of assistant professors, 21% of associate professors and 8% of full professors in PhD granting Economics department. As a whole, they represent 19% of all Economics faculty.

The point of this post is not to complain about the low proportion of women in the profession, or about their dwindling share up the ladder, but about the lack of involvement on women in RePEc. Currently, their share is at 14.5%. It is clearly below the 19% mentioned, although it is slowly increasing (it was 13.6% a year ago and 12.7% two years ago). Why this underrepresentation?

It is of course possible that their a bias in those numbers, because the CSWEP numbers pertain only to the United States and the RePEc Author Service covers the whole world. So, let us analyze the top 1000 economists from Tom Coupé’s list. Of the men, only 22.9% are not registered taking the ranking by publications, and 32.4% with the ranking by citations (which includes quite a few non-economists). For women, the numbers are 37.2% and 44.4%. We see that top female economists are less likely to be signed up with RePEc.

Therefore, encourage women to register at the RePEc Author Service!

PS: You may wonder how these numbers are determined, as gender is not indicated when registering with the RePEc Author Service. It is inferred from first names, using a database of gender likelihood by name. For the more uncertain cases, an exception table was created using additional information, in particular from pictures on personal web pages.

Fluctuations in author citation counts

June 11, 2008

Many authors may have rejoiced about the increase in their citation counts in their last monthly notification. At least part of this increase is due to an error that crept in while fixing a citation display issue for authors on IDEAS. This error is now fixed and next month’s mailing will show a substantial decrease in citation counts for some. While I got no complaints this time, I expect some in a few weeks…

In some cases, counts will be even lower than before the error crept in. This is because now extra care is taken not to double count citations to and from different versions of the same works. As always, self-citations are not counted in totals but still displayed on IDEAS.

RePEc in May 2008

June 4, 2008

Traffic on RePEc services continues to be high, establishing a record for the third month in a row for abstracts. But tis streak is expected to come to an end, as Summer traffic is typically lower. All in all, we counted 693,457 file downloads and 2,836,840 abstract views.

During the month of May, the following institutions joined RePEc with new archives:
University of Hamburg, Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, CIDE, University College Dublin, Nanyang Technological University, Romanian Journal of Regional Science, University of Central Missouri, University of Luxembourg, Queensland University of Technology.

In terms of thresholds passed, you should notice a few very significant ones:
90,000,000 cumulative abstract views for working papers
20,000,000 cumulative downloads through IDEAS
1,000,000 cumulative downloads through NEP
300,000 abstracts available
180,000 working papers available online
120,000 JEL coded items